Yoruba nation agitators on Thursday expressed confidence that Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, will not be extradited to Nigeria at the end of his trial in Benin Republic.
Igboho was declared wanted by the Department of State Services (DSS) earlier in July after his Ibadan house in Oyo State was raided on July 1, 2021, by the operatives of the secret police.
He was then arrested at Cardinal Bernardin International Airport, Cotonou, Republic of Benin, with his wife on their way to Germany on Monday night.
Many of his supporters had stormed the Cour De’appal De Cotonou, where he was arraigned on Thursday for immigration-related offences.
Olayomi Koiki, his media aide, said lawyers are fighting hard to defend his principal in court.
Speaking during a live session on his Facebook page, Koiki said Igboho’s defence counsel are putting up a good fight at the hearing.
He said: “We thank those who have joined us from all over the world to know what is happening in Cotonou. The case is still ongoing, that is what we can say for now. Our legal representatives are working so we should entertain no fear.
“Benin Republic respects its laws and we have to appreciate that instead of listening to distractions. We all know that Igboho is not a criminal or terrorist.
“Let us therefore allow the lawyers to do their work. We all want to know the outcome of the case but let us be patient for now. Maybe, there will be more update today or tomorrow. Whatever happens will be in our favour.”
Dr. Yunusa Tanko, a former presidential candidate on Thursday said Yoruba nation activist, Sunday Adeyemo, and other agitators wouldn’t have risen up in defence of their people if the government had done the right thing in securing lives and property.
He said, “In Yorubaland, there is a saying that if the wall is not cracked, a lizard cannot get into it’. I am not using this adage to insult Igboho but what I am saying is that if all the tiers of government had done the right thing, agitators like Sunday Igboho or any other self-help seeking individuals wouldn’t have raised their heads up. So, I do not blame the agitators entirely, I squarely put the blame on the governors and the Federal Government”.
Tanko, however, said Igboho shouldn’t have fled Nigeria to Benin Republic over attempt by the security agents to arrest him.
Tanko, who is the national chairman of the National Conscience Party (NCP), said like the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi (SAN), true activists stay and fight their battles especially when their agitation has to do with the welfare of the common man.
The Head of Public Affairs Bureau, National Consultative Front (NCFront), however, said he laid the blame for sectional agitations in the country on various tiers of government which have failed to do the right things and address the myriads of problems confronting the Nigerian people.
According to him, if the government had carried out its responsibilities effectively, activists like Sunday Igboho will not emerge.
“If you are leading a battle, you should be able to face the consequence. Majority of people who have led secession agenda either fell by the way or they face treasonable felony accusation by the government, who of course will not just watch while the sovereignty of the country is at jeopardy.
“If you are an activist who is fighting for the interest of the people, then you don’t run anywhere when the government comes after you. Stay within the confines of the country and fight your way through even when you are being arrested. That is the way we are trained.
“That was the way Gani Fawehinmi led us. Gani didn’t run anywhere. He faced his battles squarely despite several arrests and attacks by the military government. In fact, he taught some of us who are his foot soldiers that anywhere we are going, we should go with our bags of drugs, toothpaste, brush and other essentials because we can be arrested at any time.
“If you are defending and fighting for the rights of the people, you don’t need to run to anywhere. You stand by your words and face the battle”, he said.
Beninese Court Releases Wife, Igboho’s Trial Continues Today
Meanwhile, the Cour De’appal De Cotonou, Benin Republic, where Sunday Igboho and his wife, were arraigned on Thursday, has ordered the wife to be released.
It was learnt from sources that the court ruled that Igboho should be returned to custody.
“They just finished from court. The wife is to be released this night and Sunday is to remain in custody. The matter was adjourned till Friday,” the source said.
Ooni Rallies South- West Leaders, Raises Committee
In a similar development, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Enita Ogunwusi, has set up a 28-member committee of South-West leaders to look into the arrest of Sunday Igboho in Benin Republic.
Akin Osuntokun, the committee coordinator, said the committee would look into the issues surrounding the arrest of Igboho and related matters.
Osuntokun said, “The Ooni of Ife inaugurated an advisory council comprising eminent Yoruba sons and daughters across the political spectrum. It is called the Ooni Caucus.
“The inauguration ceremony had been scheduled over a month ago and it is just an accident that it coincided with reports of Sunday Igboho’s arrest in Cotonou.
“Nonetheless, the council is actively interested in the new development and would appropriately respond in the nearest future.”
Some of the people on the committee are Oba Olusola Alao, the Olugbon of Igbon; Senator Biodun Olujimi; Toyin Saraki; Segun Awolowo; Doyin Okupe; Gbenga Daniel, and Muyiwa Ige.
It could be recalled that Igboho was arrested at Cardinal Bernardin International Airport with his wife on their way to Germany on Monday night by Brigade Criminelle in Cotonou and since being detained.
He had been declared wanted by the Department of State Services (DSS) earlier in July after his Ibadan house was raided on July 1, 2021 by the operatives of the secret police.
Two people were killed by the DSS in the late night raid while 12 other persons were arrested and later paraded in Abuja. They have since been charged to court.
Igboho’s extradition hearing failed to take place at a court in Cotonou on Thursday because the Benin Republic government did not present him in court for unknown reasons.
We Will Resist Fulani Domination Under Any Pretense, Says Afenifere
Again, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, acting national leader of the pan-Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, has said that the Yoruba nation will resist Fulani domination of their land under any pretense.
Adebanjo said that the invasion of Sunday Adeyemo’s house, popularly called Sunday Igboho, was undemocratic, stressing that he didn’t know the offence that Igboho had committed for which he is being haunted by the Federal Government.
Adebanjo on Arise Television on Thursday said, “President Muhammadu Buhari is chasing Igboho and Nnamdi Kanu around but he is negotiating with robbers, armed bandits who are troubling the country, making security unstable. People cannot celebrate Sallah because of insecurity; prices of things are going high because of insecurity. His Department of State Services (DSS) and other security agencies cannot get to where the bandits are but when it comes to opposition asking legitimately for secession, they are very active. It is very shameful.”
When asked why he said that the arrest of Sunday Igboho was a declaration of war in Yoruba land, the Afenifere leader said, “The DSS is behaving like a department under a dictatorship. What is his offence? He has been holding meetings in Akure, in Osogbo and other places, without causing any problem. What he did, is it different to what the Scottish Nationalist Party, a party that wanted separation from Britain, having been together since 1707, in fact since 1603, did in the United Kingdom, and now the party says they want to separate, but Boris Johnson has not arrested the leader of the party.
“He has not accused them of treasonable felony or anything of the sort. In a democratic society, the worst that they can do is to go for a referendum, which they lost narrowly by 55 to 45. They are still agitating to have another referendum and they are in the same parliament with Boris Johnson. What criminal offence has Sunday Ighoho committed except that we are in a country under President Buhari’s dictatorial government?”
Faulting the National Assembly, Adebanjo said, “Look at the kind of bills they are passing in the parliament in a democracy and they are talking with pride about their actions. They are only disgracing this country by that action because all democratic societies are aware that this kind of thing is not done in a democratic setting. The constitution that we have is a fraudulent constitution and I gave my reason and it has not been refuted. Everything causing disharmony today in the country is under the imposed constitution by the military in 1966. There is discrimination, oppression and there is lack of unity because power is concentrated in the centre. We say send us back to the constitution we had at Independence.”